Diffusion of surgical technology. An exploratory study.



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The study presents an empirical analysis of the diffusion patterns of five surgical procedures. Roles of payer mix, regulatory policies, physician diffusion, competition among hospitals, and various hospital characteristics such as size and the spread of technologies are examined. The principal data base is a time series cross-section of 521 hospitals based on discharge abstracts sent to the Commission on Professional and Hospital Activities. Results on the whole are consistent with a framework used to study innovations in other contexts in which the decisions of whether to innovate and timing depend on anticipated streams of returns and cost. Innovation tends to be more likely to occur in markets in which the more generous payers predominate. But the marginal effects of payer mix are small compared to effects of location and hospital characteristics, such as size and teaching status. Hospital rate-setting sometimes retarded diffusion. Certificate of need programs did not.







Frank A. Sloan

J. Alexander McMahon Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Health Policy and Management

Professor Sloan is interested in studying the subjects of health policy and the economics of aging, hospitals, health, pharmaceuticals, and substance abuse. He has received funding from numerous research grants that he earned for studies of which he was the principal investigator. His most recent grants were awarded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Center for Disease Control, the Pew Charitable Trust, and the National Institute on Aging. Titles of his projects include, “Why Mature Smokers Do Not Quit,” “Legal and Economic Vulnerabilities of the Master Settlement Agreement,” “Determinants and Cost of Alcohol Abuse Among the Elderly and Near-elderly,” and “Reinsurance Markets and Public Policy.” He received the Investigator Award for his work on the project, “Reoccurring Crises in Medical Malpractice.” Some of his earlier works include the studies entitled, “Policies to Attract Nurses to Underserved Areas,” “The Impact of National Economic Conditions on the Health Care of the Poor-Access,” and “Analysis of Physician Price and Output Decisions.” Professor Sloan’s latest research continues to investigate the trends and repercussions of medical malpractice, physician behavior, and hospital behavior.

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